Thursday, January 29, 2009


Where did January go? I am telling you - it's like I blinked and January passed. Just the other day I was lamenting about the deer sized dent in my Honda. Then cablooey! It's almost February. Well, folks, I have a valid reason for my absence. Here goes...

Remember when I said "more on fostering later"? Now is later. Brian and I have spent what feels like every minute of this month focusing on getting our Foster/Adoption license. It was my dream (and subsequently my husband's) to foster infants. I have long wanted a large family. Good sense and advice from my mother prevented me from actually giving birth to said large family. I clearly remember telling my mom when I was probably 13 or 14 that I wanted a bunch of kids. Mom wisely told me to have my own children but to consider how many children there are in this world that don't have someone to love them. Since then, this notion of bringing more children into my home via fostering, has lain dormant in my heart until now. Something about turning 30 next month made everything feel much more urgent.

I attended an orientation for fostering last year but due to scheduling (aka. me working the night shift) we decided the timing was not quite right. We put it off until this month when Brian and I committed to trainings every Tuesday and Thursday nights (thanks Aunt Jenny for babysitting - we finally cashed in on the free childcare). Weekends have been spent attending behavior management classes and CPR re-certification (for Brian - rest assured, the nurse is current on her CPR). Evenings have been spent getting TB tests, fingerprints, background checks, home inspections, cleaning for said home inspections, acquiring and installing locks for medicine cabinets, fire extinguishers, rope ladders, and plug inserts, taking 3 dogs to the vet to document all up to date vaccines, and oh my gosh, I don't even know what else we had to do...

It's all worth it, of course. The longer I work in the schools and in the ER the more convinced I am that this was something I needed to do. All children must know that they are loved, and if I can do that, even if it is just for a short time, then I have succeeded. So, as you can imagine, January feels like it flew by. As I type, I have two kids in my lap and Brian is drinking a beer as he makes some dessert. It is a long needed break for us both (even though we thought about stringing Jenny along with some made up training we had to go to). I am exhausted in the most satisfying way. We can now approach February (and more importantly 30) with a greater sense of purpose. Just short of our home study, we are foster parents!

Now, as the kids say, all we need is a baby.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ringing in the New Year with a Bang

I have never been a huge New Year celebrator- not that I don't love the idea of New Year. Don't get me wrong - a clean slate, goal setting, a fresh new year, my birthday in a little more than one month - it is the recipe for a great day. Unfortunately I usually work New Year's Eve and when we lived in Pasadena I spent the day after avoiding the Rose Parade traffic. This year my plans were no different (except for the whole Rose Parade thing) - I signed up for a short shift at the hospital and intended to be home by midnight. The doctors and nurses I work with were warning me to drive safely as there was sure to be some intoxicated drivers on the road. I heeded their warnings and set off in my trusty Honda Accord.

While driving along I was very vigilant, looking out very carefully for headlights coming at me from the wrong side of the road, or other such problems. I was driving slower than usual down a wooded road - eyes peeled - visions of drunks slamming into me. Well, unless the deer was under the influence, no alcohol was involved. A car turned right in front of me and a deer shot out from the right side of the street. She side swiped me leaving a giant dent in my right side bumper, hood and panel. In slow motion I saw her flipping body go up over my windshield. I prayed that she wouldn't come down on top of me and ducked. Miraculously she landed in the street. A second car came along and stopped to move her out of the road and make sure I was OK. Three jovial men got out, scared the deer off into the woods (yes, she walked away) and checked on me. I was fine, shaken slightly, but fine and so they drove on with a warning about my busted out head light. The time was 2350 in military time. Oh deer.

And that is how my New Year's Eve went. I don't believe that this was any kind of sign or foreshadowing about the year ahead. I think it was just a stinking deer at the wrong place and wrong time. In several weeks the car will be fixed and hopefully Brian will never mention that poor deer again. 2009 still promises to be the best yet. I am thrilled to welcome so many good things this year - 30th birthdays, Kate and Nick's wedding, Kristin's baby, our foster baby (more on this later), Reba turning 5 and going off to Kindergarten. Gosh there is so much to celebrate - guess we can really do that any time and any day - January 1 is so restrictive.

A little addendum - on our way home from Foster Parent classes tonight we were pulled over for a "defective headlight." Um, duh. It will go into the shop on Monday.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Many Outfits of Reba

Reba, my baby, is almost five. She has always been an independent child and recently even more so. These are some outfits she has chosen in this past week. As to not crush her spirit we have chosen to praise her for one item and then go on a hunt for a match to that one thing. Take for example the crayon sweater get up. We went on a hunt for something to match instead of those fabulous pink leggings (and bright blue socks). Incidentally the crayon sweater was lovingly made for my generation by my grandmother and handed down to my daughter who loves it. Also you can't see in the princess picture the plastic high heeled shoes with the neon green sock toes sticking out. One of a kind, that Reba.

Quilt Extravaganza '08

Oh, wait, that's my dining room. Yes, it's true. The dining room looked like a fabric explosion had occurred and somewhere buried under it all I emerged with 4 quilts done since the beginning of December. Also under my fabric explosion you might find a Merry Christmas to me present - an honest to goodness Bernina sewing machine. No kidding here, folks. I am now the proud owner of a high end machine. Now, I bought the machine used at a ridiculously good price from an amazing couple I met here so don't be thinking I became independently wealthy overnight or anything. I am just same old me - Sarah Marie, School Nurse (and ER charge - we don't like to forget that).

I am quite thrilled with the results of my efforts this month. Of course, I posted on Dad's quilt in the last post. Mom's is the cowboy prints by special request for her living room. Molly's is out of the same stroke inducing Levi's with the added touch of the airbrushed patch of our family's '77 Ford F-150 - pre-crash (taken from an old denim shirt given to me ca. Christmas 1993ish). I didn't make a quilt for Jenny as she has recently taken up the pastime - sorta - instead I gave her tools for the trade. I did, however, complete a fun "Happy Howlidays" log cabin style Christmas quilt for my family. This quilt was an exercise in traditional piecing and stipple quilting, both of which I am very thrilled with. I am not above patting myself on the back.

Immediately after all of these folks received their gifts I set out for the fabric store to procure more of my medium. My husband says I am an addict. He's probably right. If I am, he's an enabler. My gift from Brian this year was a hand crafted (by his hands of course) quilt rack. What a beauty - he's putting a clear coat on it now to protect the quilts. After it's dry I will post a pic. Right now I have purses to sew and diaper bags to create!